Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7585 by Tees

Posted by NealH on February 7th, 2011

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def, DD=double def, sp=spoonerism

I thought this was quite difficult, mainly because of the longer phrases which ate up a lot of the grid and also a few more obscure references. The two long anagrams were very good and and there were some witty definitions (e.g. downtrodden Oxford area for heel and cup-bearer for bra).

 

Across
7 Absurdly: Ably around Sud (French for South) around r. Refers to Eugene Ionesco.
9 Adhere: A + DH (Lawrence) + ere.
10/11/20 Out of Sight out of Mind: O on (in gut food fits mouth)*.
12/18 Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: (He wants back dearest gone from here)*.
15 Brownie: DD.
16 Twitchy: T + witchy.
21 Hailsham: Hails + ham.
23 Umbra: Mu< + bra (cup-bearer!).
25 Hecate: He cat + E.
26 Notornis: No to RN is.
Down
1 Absorber: Ab + sober around r.
2 Burt: Leading letters of “Baron Upjohn removed traitorous”. Ref to the actor, Burt Lancaster.
3 Gypsum: GP around y + sum.
4 Bang: DD.
5 White Satin: &lit. We sat in around hit.
6 Crouch: DD – Peter Crouch.
8 Defecting: Defec[a]ting.
13 Edward Lear: D Wardle in ear. The painter is Arthur Wardle.
14 Kiwi Fruit: K(ilo) + I + WI + fruit (=good result).
17 Haematin: Hae (Scots have) + matin.
19 Evader: [Luk]e + (Darth) Vader. Anakin Skywalker is the original name of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films.
22 Heel: DD – reference to the Oxford shoe.
24 Burn: DD.

17 Responses to “Independent 7585 by Tees”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks NealH for the blog, and Tees for perhaps (for me) an easier than usual puzzle.

    10,12,20 was cracked from the checked letters/letter distribution OxT xx xxxxT xUx xx xxxx, which immediately led to 12,18. Only then did I look into detail at the anagram/&lit in 12,18. This was somewhat short-changing the setter, as it was a clue which should have been solved on its own in order to appreciate its brilliance. Similarly with 10,12,20 where, for me, the anagram fodder didn’t come into the solving of it. Perhaps if the two weren’t overtly linked (left as a mini-Nina?), it would have made the puzzle a bit harder.

    Favourites were 23 UMBRA a little cheeky, 5D WHITE SATIN a little nostalgic (“Nights in…” for those not familiar with it), and 8D DEFECTING a little scat-ty.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, NealH, and Tees for the puzzle. I found this quite difficult, then saw the possibility of OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND from crossing letters and this gave the other long answer for which the anagram was very good as scchua says.

    It still took me quite a while tho to finish with the SE corner being the most difficult. Favourite clue, UMBRA.

  3. walruss says:

    I got the two anags pretty quickly too, but that didn’t dilute the solving pleasure. They were very good indeed, especially the longer one. Not a hair out pf place as usual for this setter, and some cracking stuff. WHITE SATIN and EVADER got me chuckling, and a LOL for UMBRA. Indy 1 Guardian 0.

  4. Lenny says:

    Thanks Nealh and Tees. I’m not a fan of long anagrams but I got the two long answers with only the O?T checking letters. It was quite a gentle solve after that with the only problem being the two intersecting words that I did not know Haematin and Notornis. I was quite relieved when I checked the dictionary and found that there really is a flightless bird called a notornis. I stopped listening to pop music in 1968 so the reference to the Moody Blues’ 1967 hit was not a problem.
    By a coincidence, I happened to be doing an old puzzle by Tees alter ego Neo last night. He used the same Lancaster wordplay in that. I thought it was quite neat so it bears repetition

  5. sidey says:

    Oh dear, I hope it wasn’t my previous comment on the lavatorial possibilities of a foopballer’s name that inspired anything in this.

  6. Robi says:

    Thanks Tees and NealH for a neat blog. I think in 7 SUD could refer to SUD AFRIKA where the ‘genet’ lives; but your explanation is, no doubt, correct.

    Luckily, I got the two long solutions fairly early on, which made the rest a lot easier, although this was much trickier than today’s Guardian Cryptic (which was easier than the Quiptic.) :? Had to look up NOTORNIS, although the clueing was accurate.

    I chortled at 23 :D

  7. Uncle Yap says:

    Isn’t it remarkable that today’s Times puzzle had Blowout provided by Society in Lancaster (5) using the identical device for BURT (2Down)?

    Good puzzle, good blog

  8. Lenny says:

    Apologies to Tees. As Uncle Yap points out, it is in fact this mornings Times crossword that has the other Burt Lancaster Clue and not the Neo that I did last night.

  9. Wil Ransome says:

    Some really good stuff here. But everyone has passed over ‘chthonic’, which I could perfectly well look up but I don’t have a dictionary to hand. What on earth does it mean, and how does it affect Hecate?

    Thought 8dn was very clever, but I at once knew what it was going to be about. 6dn may be something of a problem for non-UK solvers — Peter Crouch is hardly a worldwide household name.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wil
    From Chambers:

    chthonic – relating to the earth or the underworld and the deities inhabiting it

    Hecate – a mysterious goddess, in Hesiod having power over earth, heaven and sea, and afterwards identified with Artemis, Persephone and other goddesses (Gr myth)

  11. Robi says:

    Wil @9: ‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare
    This is Hekate (or Hecate) in Her chthonic role (Hekate Chthonia). Chthonic is a word whose meaning is heavily loaded by culture. Today the word ‘chthonic’ often has evil or ‘dark’ connotations, but it originates from the Greek khthonios, meaning ‘in or under the earth’

    chthon·ic (thnk) also chtho·ni·an (thn-n)
    adj. Greek Mythology
    Of or relating to the underworld.

    [From Greek khthonios, of the earth, from khthn,

  12. scchua says:

    Hi Wil@9 “what on earth does it mean?”. You almost got it …. the correct preposition is “under” – it means “of the underworld” and Hecate was one of the Greek goddesses dwelling under the earth.

    Re Crouch, you’d be surprised how widespread interest is in the English national team and the EPL.

  13. jimbo says:

    It would appear that nobody else found 15a and 16a iffy at best then????

  14. flashling says:

    I too struggled to get going until the out of sight clue suddenly appeared in my mind and its partner clue. The whole thing rapidly unravelled which is a pity as Tees seems to have put a lot of work into this. Thanks Neal and Tees.

  15. Tees says:

    Well, it was a Monday puzzle – we didn’t want you all pulling your hair out, at least not this early in the week’s proceedings. And the trouble with long entries is – of course – that they’re often deduced visually rather than by some other, more familiar process. (On the other hand, I’m told by one or two of the Times Competition super-solvers that they ‘see’ answers long before they’ve had a chance to parse the clues, so … well, what can you do?) I hope you enjoyed working them out after the event, if that’s how it was for you.

    Lenny, you had me worried there, so thanks for your corrective #8.

    Many thanks to Neal and to all concerned for the comments. Enjoy the rest of the Indy week.

  16. Scarpia says:

    Thanks NealH.
    Excellent puzzle from Tees,which would have been very hard to solve if the long anagrams hadn’t been easily gettable from the enumeration.Agree with scchua@1,12/18 in particular was brilliant.
    Not having seen Star Wars I didn’t fully understand 19 down but got the gist of it even with my limited knowledge.
    I liked 6 and 8 down for their ‘Pauline’ wit,but my favourite was UMBRA,which had nothing to do with Hebe!

  17. ele says:

    Hi jimbo@13. Might Hecate in the sense of witchy refer to Macbeth, where she turns up in the three witches spells? And speaking as an ex-Brownie, we were supposed to be good little fairies helping others every day, so I didn’t find that a problem. Thanks to Tees for an enjoyable puzzle, although at first I thought I wouldn’t get very far. Getting the long anagrams was the breakthrough.

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